Shares of Axon Enterprise (NASDAQ:AXON) were soaring Monday as investors reacted to ongoing protests and riots in the country following the death of George Floyd while in police custody last week. Since Axon is a maker of body and dashboard cameras, non-lethal weapons like TASERs, and other law enforcement tools, investors seem to believe that the company and its products could play a role in helping to solve this complex problem.
Axon shares hit an all-time high this morning and the stock was up 17.3% at 10:30 a.m. EDT.
Over the weekend, there was looting and violence in multiple cities across the country, and a number of commentators have compared the unrest to 1968 and what followed the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
The protests make clear that there is demand for police reform and an end to police brutality, meaning police departments and law enforcement officials may have to come up with more innovative solutions.
Axon's stated mission is to protect life, and it seeks to accomplish that through developing technology that makes bullets obsolete, reduces social conflict, and enables a fair and effective justice system. In addition to body cameras and TASERs, the company also runs Evidence.com, a cloud-based evidence management database, and has other programs that help law enforcement officers with technology.
It's unclear what the outcome will be from all this unrest, but with citizens demanding increased police accountability, programs supporting body cameras and other such tools may become more common. Similarly, police departments may lean toward non-lethal weapons like TASERs rather than traditional handguns, or rubber bullets, which have reportedly permanently injured some people in recent days.
Beyond current events, there are other reasons to like Axon, including its innovation and growth potential in areas like dispatch and records, competitive advantages with its cloud business, and international expansion potential.
With tensions around police brutality raging, I wouldn't be surprised to see more police departments turn to Axon for help.